Student accommodation has been one of the most active 'alternative' investment classes in the real estate market in many countries in recent years. Students choosing purpose built accommodation have become accustomed to convenience, high specifications and additional services and amenities.
From understanding the need for universities to attract students, to the intricacies of the ongoing management, we have hands on experience of delivering major projects.
We act for universities, accommodation providers, developers, contractors and investors (both equity and debt finance). We also act for a number of sovereign wealth funds and overseas investors which allows us to, where appropriate and beneficial, introduce clients to each other where there is a synergy to them working together.
An ability to manage projects from inception to completion is one of our core strengths. We have specialist teams who provide advice at all stages of a project, from structuring and funding the acquisition or investment through to disposal by sale, listing or conversion to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Upon an exit, we can advise on the structuring and tax implications of the various routes available, from a conventional sale (of property itself or the shares in a property special purpose vehicle) through to listing or becoming a REIT.
Our team acts for both developers and purchasers/investors on 'direct let' developments. Understanding the needs and concerns of developers and investors, both private and institutional, allows us to advise on the structure and risk profile of a scheme.
We have acted for a number of clients who have either acquired sites to develop halls of residence or acquired sites containing existing halls of residence. A secure income stream is key for the viability of the halls and this has been obtained through a nomination agreement with a university or a higher education provider. Our work includes 'off balance sheet' transactions and the first bond-financed student accommodation deal of this type.
We understand the legal issues surrounding student accommodation as an asset class including management and letting, planning and tax, but also commercial issues such as design/place-making/affordability and void-risk and how this can affect legal matters. We have advised Middle East based private equity and Islamic investors on a number of major UK student accommodation investment transactions.
We have devised bespoke, Shari'ah compliant structures enabling clients to leverage their investment with conventional debt whilst minimising tax leakage on returns.
- Experience of delivering major projects across the UK and Middle East
- Ability to manage projects from inception to completion
- Acting for both developers and investors allows us to access the risk profile of a scheme
- Devised bespoke Shari'ah compliant structures for student accommodation projects
- Advising sovereign wealth funds and overseas investors enabling us to bring parties together